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Braised Leeks

I'm a big fan of braised leeks: I like to serve them with a Hollandaise sauce and a couple of anchovy fillets.

Apr 10, 2011
bbrownri in Recipes

How to Make the Best Steamed Mussels

Cream and chopped fresh tarragon are also great additions: substitute them for the Pernod at the end. Then eat on the back porch on a breezy Sunday afternoon. Mmm.

Sep 19, 2010
bbrownri in Features

Diabetic's Urine, Key to a Fine Single-Malt Whisky?

I second lynnlato's comment: for there to be sugar in someone's urine, they have to have poor diabetic control or a particular (and particularly bad) kind of renal failure. In a sense, this is just profiting off someone's poor health.

Sep 10, 2010
bbrownri in Features

Pork and Apple Burgers

These were great! The idea of doing a trial run with a small patty was well thought-of: I was short on salt at first, but the final mixture came out perfectly.

Sep 01, 2010
bbrownri in Recipes

How do I start cooking?

I think the best thing to do is find someone who does cook and ask to help them in the kitchen sometime. Check with family members and friends, and ask to help with something not-too-complex to start with. I'd suggest you try cooking things you'll want to eat for lunch or dinner on a somewhat regular basis. I'm not an expert in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination, but the things I cook well (read: the things I've done many times) are things I learned to make so that I could have a satisfying meal whenever I wanted.

Second, a good cookbook can help. Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" has a ton of recipes (as the name suggests) and most don't involve too many ingredients. Start with the basics (marinating and cooking a steak, making an omelet, sautéeing vegetables, making a fresh pasta sauce). Once you've learned some simple main course options, you can tweak them by adding new spices, new vegetables, new sauces, and in the course of doing that you can learn new and fancier techniques.

Finally, expect to screw up a bunch at the beginning. It takes a while to get a feel for how hot the burner should be, how to chop a tomato without spilling the seeds everywhere, how to flip a pancake, etc. Practice doesn't necessarily make perfect, but the day will eventually come when you feel like you can actually navigate a stove top without tripping all over yourself, I promise!

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Jun 05, 2010
bbrownri in Home Cooking

Chicken livers?

I've just finished enjoying some chicken livers with shallots, dates and Port wine sauce. I sautéed the shallots and an onion in butter, added the dates to soften a bit, then some 10 year old tawny Port (tawny has a nice nutty flavor which combined well with the earthy livers). Tossed in the livers and sauteed until done, adding a dash more Port every now and then as it looked like the skillet was drying out. Served with a radish, cucumber salad tossed in lemon juice.

Jun 05, 2010
bbrownri in Home Cooking

Please Help-I need a GREAT Single Malt Scotch

If a bit of peat is okay, I think someone already mentioned Highland Park. It's got a bit of smoke, but also sweet honey notes. As a rule, the older you go with a peated whisky, the less you'll taste the peat because you get more influence from the barrel with time. The HP 15 or 18 might be up your friend's alley.

The Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is also nice for something a little different: it's finished in port casks and takes on some of the raisiny sweetness from the wine. A good sweet Scotch.

Mar 26, 2010
bbrownri in Spirits

Please Help-I need a GREAT Single Malt Scotch

The only problem with Bruichladdich is that they release so many expressions (and give them different brand names, rather than just age statements or cask descriptions) that it can be hard to keep track of them. I'll second the suggestion of Caol Ila. The 12-year-old is my favorite Scotch: it's heavily peated but it's got a smoky-sweet balance which is really nice.

Mar 25, 2010
bbrownri in Spirits

Just good coffee

Bushwickgirl has some good advice there. I'd just emphasize the "stronger is better than weaker" point. You don't have to go super crazy, but if you're going to err on one side or the other, I would recommend erring on the stronger side, especially if you're regularly a tea drinker. Perhaps add 2 or 3 tbsp for the pot instead of 1? Your guests can always dilute the final product with cream or milk or by just adding a bit of water, but weak coffee can be pretty gross, and there's not much that can be done about it. :)

Mar 24, 2010
bbrownri in Home Cooking

Your Recipes for Chicken Hearts?

I cribbed the marinade from Chris Cosentino's recipe for beef heart ( in preparing some grilled chicken hearts yesterday. Basically, that meant putting a bunch of trimmed chicken hearts in white wine, OJ and garlic for an hour or so, then tossing them in some olive oil and grilling them. They turned out great, and I loved the crispy outside-to-dark meat inside ratio. I'm wondering what your favorite chicken heart recipes are. It's such a cute and tasty ingredient!

Mar 21, 2010
bbrownri in Home Cooking

Can anyone comment on Wild Turkey Rye?

I'm a big fan of WT Rye. It's got an oily mouthfeel and a spicy, sour, herbal rye hit right off the bat. It's rounded out with a bit of brown sugar and rock candy sweetness on the finish. Doesn't mess around. Straightforward but balanced. My favorite American whiskey.

Mar 13, 2010
bbrownri in Spirits

So good that you make it over and over again (or at least 3 times!)

Chicken Liver Pate: Sweat some onions and rosemary in butter, toss in the livers, cook through. Deglaze with a dash of Scotch. Puree with a stick blender and adjust seasonings. Portion into ramekins and seal with clarified butter. Chill.

When I crave this dish, nothing else will satisfy me.

Mar 05, 2010
bbrownri in Home Cooking

Looking for a great birthday cake bakery near Cranston, Rhode Island

Pastiche is a great pastry place on Federal Hill. I have very fond memories of going there as a kid. Then my family left RI. When I came back, I stumbled upon it by accident and had one of those heart-skips-a-beat-with-joy moments when I realized what I'd found.

Feb 24, 2010
bbrownri in Southern New England

Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Apricot Glaze

This is also a great way to serve a chicken breast. The glaze turned out great, giving a nice caramelized crispiness to the skin.

Feb 20, 2010
bbrownri in Recipes